I tend to fall asleep with earphones in and soft music on. It works for me and helps me fall asleep fairly quickly. (The fact that I usually go to be quite late and get up fairly early doesn’t hurt either.) My wife Elana, on the other hand, has a tough time relaxing and an even tougher time falling asleep some nights. That’s why I was interested in getting a review sample of the SOUND+SLEEP Nomad Sound Machine. The nomad is the smaller of the company’s two sound machines and it is primarily intended for travel. (It works just fine at home too!) Here’s a video look followed by the specs and a few of Elana’s and my thoughts…
Here’s what the company has to say about their products:
Each ASTI SoundStory is a blend of a foundational theme enhanced by an extensive library of additional natural sounds. For example, the Rainfall SoundStory is augmented by various thunderclaps, wind sounds and more. SOUND+SLEEP measures the ambient sound in a room using its built-in microphone to determine the appropriate mix of sounds to play. ASTI calls this real-time sound composition.
Many other machines we’ve tested have recordings as short as just a few seconds. When there is a sound that briefly repeats over and over again, it can actually become irritating — keeping you awake rather than helping relaxation and sleep. SOUND+SLEEP recordings are longer than any competing sound machine and have hundreds of enhancing sounds that are randomly and algorithmically mixed into the base sound story in real time.
The nomad is the smaller of the two devices. At just 5.4? X 4.6? X 2.5? it is small enough to take with you on the road. And because it has a 3.5mm input jack you can also use it for music and movies.
The sounds from the machine are a key to the product’s utility. They sound good… very good. As the company explains,
The SOUND+SLEEP Sound Profiles are implemented with ASTI’s proprietary SoundStory technology. Each SOUND+SLEEP SoundStory is recorded the hard way. Our sound engineering and design teams climb trees, sit up all night waiting for frogs to croak, and stand outside in thunder storms with high-quality sound equipment to capture the best quality sounds – the authentic sounds of nature. All of our SoundStories employ recorded natural sounds except for the Meditation and White Noise themes.
In addition, the controls are easy and self-explanatory which is important since this is a product you will, at times, use when you are half-awake.
The first night we tried it Elana turned in long before me. When I did climb into bed the machine was still going. That night I didn’t put on (stimulating) music but, instead, listened to the sound she had chosen. I fell asleep… quickly. And the sound coming from the unit was so pleasing that… we both forgot to set the timer. Yes, we listened to it all night. I asked Elana just now what she things of it and this is here reply-
I like it. It is easy to use and I didn’t have to read the instructions. The sounds are fine and it is very relaxing. (I like the ocean sound the most.) The machine it let me fall asleep easily, and I don’t have anything negative to say about it. Then again, I’ve nothing to compare it to since this is the first machine like this I have tried. For someone who has a hard time relaxing (like me) it is quite useful.
From Elana that is a rave!
My biggest issue with the machine is that there are smartphone apps that can also make decent sounds that aid in falling and staying asleep. Then again, they aren’t nearly as easy to control through blurry eyes and they won’t have the smart, adaptive technology that adjusts to the environment. Overall I rate this as “a bit pricey but very good”. You can learn more and order yours (or its big brother) here, on the product site.
MSRP: $179.95 but get it for just $149.95 through our Amazon Affiliate Store.
What I Like: It works as promised; Well made; Easy to use; Offers quality sounds; Can act as a speaker for music and movies too; Passes “the Elana test”
What Needs Improvement: You can get much of (but not all) the same functionality with a smartphone or tablet app